How many types of disabilities can you think of right now? Do you know which guidelines and laws to follow to ensure full accessibility? If you can’t answer this question, then Deque University is a great place to start learning about accessibility.
A real-life situation
As a Deaf developer, I deal with accessibility issues all the time.
It’s a challenging environment to live in because of my desire to be part of everyday activities. In comparison to life in the 20th century, we are making great strides in making the world more accessible. The Internet plays a large role in accessibility.
One example of such accessibility challenge I deal with is YouTube “automatic captioning” feature 1. This feature is fairly new since Google introduced this feature in November 2009. However, it’s not a perfect solution.
While more and more YouTubers are turning this feature on, many of the videos with automatic captioning are not accurate. In the cases where they are accurate, they still need work because automation doesn’t mean accuracy. As a result, I have to watch the same video several times to ensure I understand the audio correctly.
Why accessibility matters
We all have a disability in one form or the other.
Does that surprise you? It all boils down to awareness. Some of it is obvious and others are not. For example, if a child breaks an arm which has to be put in a cast, that’s a temporary disability.
Let’s also consider those who wear glasses. Since eyeglasses are very common these days, we don’t realize that eyeglasses are assistive devices that enable us to see. That’s accessibility in disguise.
About Deque University
As part of my professional development goals, I’m enrolled in Deque University. Deque University is an extension of Deque Systems where the focus is on finding and fixing accessibility issues on websites and mobile apps.
About the Accessibility Fundamentals program
Deque University’s Accessibility Fundamentals program is designed for everyone. It goes beyond the basics that are covered in a lot of articles online. This certificate is the first of the four topics listed below.
UX Notice: Each certificate below is linked to my post for that certification.
- Accessibility Fundamentals – Disabilities, Guidelines, and Laws
- Designing an Accessible User Experience
- Basic Web and Document Accessibility for Content Contributors
- Section 508: Fundamentals of the Law and Technical Standards
What this certificate covers
Deque University provides a certificate for completion for each course in their program. Here’s a list of topics covered in this course 2.
- Types of Disabilities: Personas
- Myths and Misconceptions about Accessibility
Why this course is awesome
There’s a lot of information involved when it comes to web accessibility.
In this case, the topic covering the different types of disabilities was a great learning experience. The different personas really help with understanding the type of situation where one experiences accessibility issues.
Of particular interest to me were the guidelines and laws.
While we often see websites displaying accessibility certification stating they are committed to meeting accessibility standards outlined by the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, certain laws may go further these guidelines. As a result, some of these websites are not fully compliant but rather undereducated. This creates an opportunity for developers with disabilities like myself to work on.
My Certificate of Completion
There’s a popular saying, “Show, don’t tell.”
With that said, I’m displaying my certificate here.
Accessibility Notice: I’m researching the best practice to display PDFs using images due to certificates being produced in PDF format. For now, until I get more info, I will display the certificate as an image with a link to the PDF.
It’s a great thing to see the effort to recognize the need to ensure the Internet remains accessible to everyone.
By learning how it works on the back end, you can explain the problem so the coders can figure out how to resolve the issue. Yes, it does take some extra effort and time. However, if you are going to do something, do it right from the start.
It’s better to be praised for being accessible than known for being inaccessible.
Your insights matters
As a Deaf developer, accessibility is important regardless of whether it is online or in the real world. I would love to learn more from you about why accessibility matters to you. The more I learn, the more I can help educate others.
Whether it’s something you experience on a daily basis or randomly, feel free to share your experience by leaving a comment below.
- Google / YouTube Help / Use automatic captioning
- Deque University Accessibility Fundamentals: Disabilities, Guidelines, and Laws